I'm Too Young to Make a Will...
- AuthorClaire Fuller
From the age of 18 you are legally an adult and can make a Will setting out what you want to happen to your children, pets, property and assets when you die.
You may think you're too young to make a Will, but the chances are that you're not.
The Office for National Statistics has detailed the modern markers of adulthood in work and family life. Its findings highlight the importance of making and amending your Will at the different stages of your life.
By age 19, more than 50% of people are in full time employment. If you are in work, you will start to have more disposable income, particularly if you live with your parents. You may begin to accumulate expensive possessions such as jewellery or a car. Perhaps you will start saving for a deposit to buy your first home. Either way, these are things that can be left to your loved ones by Will and it is your first chance to provide for those people after your death.
Age 27 is the average age to move in with a partner. Many people mistakenly believe in the concept of a 'common law spouse' but in reality there is no such thing. If you die without making a Will, your partner is not entitled to anything you own. If you want your partner to be provided for when you die, you need to put that intention into effect whilst you are still alive by making a Will.
The age at which women are likely to have their first child is 29 and the average age of all fathers is 33. Once you have children, you have to consider what would happen to them if you were to die during their childhood. It is not just about choosing a trusted relative or friend to look after their inheritance until they come of age but also appointing a guardian to raise them in line with your own values. The importance of making a Will once you have children cannot be overstated – if your wishes are not known, your children may find themselves in the middle of a fight between family and friends at the worst possible time.
Many people used to see marriage as a precursor to having children but the average age of first time marriage is now 33 for men and 31 for women. If you die without making a Will, your spouse will inherit all or the majority of your estate under the intestacy rules. You may have nephews and nieces, godchildren or charities you want to provide for or sentimental items passed down through the family that you want to leave to other family members. You cannot do this without a Will.
If you previously had a Will and subsequently married, your Will could be rendered invalid unless it contained an express provision that it was to remain valid after your marriage. If you make a Will providing for your spouse and consequently divorce, your ex-spouse will not be entitled to the inheritance you left them. In both scenarios, your estate will be distributed according to the intestacy rules.
The average age to own your own home is 34. Once you own a property, whether on your own or with a partner or spouse you need to have a Will in place. There is more than one way of owning property jointly and making a will helps ensure you own it in the best way to suit your circumstances.
Many people believe that making a Will isn't something they need to think about until they are approaching retirement but it might just be something you need to do now.
Please speak to one of our private client team for further information.